Workers at Futjitsu UK have announced plans for six days of strikes in December and January in protest against proposed redundancies, a pay freeze and a revised pension scheme.
Those Fujitsu employees that are members of the Unite union plan to strike on Friday December 18th and again on January 7th, 8th, 11th, 14th and 15th, the union said. Fujitsu said that only a minority of its workers are Unite members.
Unite admitted that the strike would cause disruption to the company’s customers, which include the Royal Mail and Marks & Spencer. “We recognise the effect any industrial action will have on key private and public sector consumers and clients of Fujtisu, but the responsibility for this rests squarely with the company for failing to address the issues," said joint general secretary Derek Simpson.
The Japanese company plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs in the UK. It has also proposed a pay freeze and plans to discontinue the final-salary pension scheme for new employees. Strikes were originally planned for November, but postponed when Fujitsu offered to negotitate. Negotiation broke down this month, however.
Many IT suppliers were forced to instigate ‘restructuring’ programmes in the wake of the downturn, often resulting in the threat of industrial action.
Last week, for example, UK employees at computing giant Hewlett-Packed called off a one-day strike scheduled for December 10th, after HP agreed to further talks with union representatives.
HP has shed 3,400 staff in the past 18 months following its acquisition of IT services supplier EDS, and 1,000 more workers are said to be in danger of losing their jobs.
“It is disgraceful that hardworking staff who are shouldering greater workloads and contributing significantly to HP’s revenue and profits should be rewarded with pay freezes and job losses", said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the union PCS, which represents HP’s workers, earlier this month.